Date   
1/23 Lake Merritt - Dying Goldeneye? And Odd Geese

bunceboy
 

On 1/23 it looked like a male common goldeneye in the lake, Southeast side near E 18th St.  Upside down, mostly still but with some small intermittent flails and foot twitches.  About 10 people gathered to stare at it.  Anyone seen something like this before?

On 1/22 I saw  2 "Chinese" Swan Geese, apparently an escaped domestic species near the geodesic dome, and a White Fronted Goose nearby across the street from the public bathroom.

--
-Will P.

Summer Tanager again at Claremont Canyon

Robert Firehock
 

This brilliantly red bird was there again this morning. In the oaks on the west side of the trail just down from the switchback at the tree swing grove. There is a line of three or four oaks 'marching' down the hill roughly perpendicular to the path. He seems to favor the second one from the trail. Got a decent photo today which will be on my eBird list later (yesterday's photo required enhancement for ID purposes and was not suitable for posting on eBird). Enjoy, Robert

Pt. Richmond Herring Spawn, Friday, 1/25

Judith Dunham
 

Upon reading Ryan Bartling's post on the herring spawn at Pt. Richmond this morning, Charlie and I motored from the Berkeley Marina to Brooks Island, arriving around 10 a.m. Much of the feasting may have concluded, but thousands of birds were present along the shoreline and breakwater and in the bay. It was a nice surprise to see a group of 17 BRANT among the scaup.

The following eBird record has conservative estimates and includes some passable photos taken on my Canon-ito to show a fraction of the abundance. We stayed at a distance from the assembly, hence numbers designated to gull sp, cormorant sp, etc.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S52032881

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA

Pt. Pinole Allen's

Sheila Dickie
 

Yesterday, January 24, 2019, there were two male Allen's Hummingbirds at Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline Park. One at the pond off Owl Alley, seen atop bramble on the little island to the right, and the second again atop bramble on the right hand side of Owl Alley just past the intersection with China Cove Trail as you are heading toward the pier. Both birds were seen in same locations as last year and about the same date.


Sheila Dickie
Richmond

[EBB_Sightings] black scoter back at Richmond Marina

EBB-D Moderator <diabloaudubonwebmaster@...>
 



---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: estamman@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...>
Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 1:43 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] black scoter back at Richmond Marina
To: <EBB_Sightings@...>


 

We saw 2 black scoters about a week ago at Richmond Marina, but have been looking and didn't see them until today. We thought they may have just been passing through. But we saw the 2 males again today and they were calling. They have been hanging around in the boat docks E and D. They were close to the walkway to the right side of Dock E, just across from Salute today. Many birders may remember the little forlorn black scoter who was always calling and chasing female scaups in previous years. We figure one of these is him and he brought a buddy. Hope they stay awhile, they are so much fun to listen to.


In the same area near Salute, there was a snow goose and her(?) entourage of 8 white-fronted geese. We have been seeing this entourage on and off for about a month, and they move from the Salute-Rosie pathway over to across from Friendship park. They are very approachable.



Oh, and the weather is glorious - lucky we live California!


E. Stamman 

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[EBB_Sightings] Summer Tanager in Claremont canyon

EBB-D Moderator <diabloaudubonwebmaster@...>
 



---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: bade_alan@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...>
Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 10:11 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Summer Tanager in Claremont canyon
To: <EBB_Sightings@...>


 

Thanks for all the tips on where to find the Summer Tanager! It was right where Robert Firehock said in his Groups.io message, frequenting the 2nd oak tree in a row of 3 just south of the tree swing area after the 2nd switchback. It is feeding at the woodpecker holes about 3/4s the way up the tree, perhaps getting insects caught in the sap. We saw him at approx 3 PM today.

I had trouble posing on the other site, so I'm posting here.
Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill



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Heather Farm Friday Jan 25

Support <support@...>
 

Forward from: rosita94598@...

Ran into Bob Dunn and Tracy Farrington this morning near the dog park crosswalk. They saw the Tropical Kingbird where the sidewalks meet between the concrete and mostly natural ponds. It was long gone by my arrival. But together we viewed the nearby juvenile male Common Goldeneye and the Merlin atop a conifer just west of the dog park. Another observer said he had the Common Gallinule at the very south end of the big pond.


On the north ball fields were about 200 gulls, almost all of them Mews. Probably less than ten of them were Ring-billed. I counted 192 total, but they were moving a bit. They were later flushed by a jogger.


At the Contra Costa Canal end of that ball field parking lot, I found a nice Red-breasted Sapsucker. In the same area were Robins, a White-breasted Nuthatch, a Cedar Waxwing and a couple of Lesser Goldfinches.


Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Re: Pt. Richmond Herring Spawn, Friday, 1/25

Melani King
 

Herring run continues in Pt. Richmond close to Chevron long wharf. Eggs are visible on the kelp right now at 11:20 am. Lots of gulls. There were large rafts if ducks further out visible from Keller’s Beach.
-Melani King
Pt. Richmond

On Jan 25, 2019, at 1:33 PM, judith_dnhm <jldunham@...> wrote:

Upon reading Ryan Bartling's post on the herring spawn at Pt. Richmond this morning, Charlie and I motored from the Berkeley Marina to Brooks Island, arriving around 10 a.m. Much of the feasting may have concluded, but thousands of birds were present along the shoreline and breakwater and in the bay. It was a nice surprise to see a group of 17 BRANT among the scaup.

The following eBird record has conservative estimates and includes some passable photos taken on my Canon-ito to show a fraction of the abundance. We stayed at a distance from the assembly, hence numbers designated to gull sp, cormorant sp, etc.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S52032881

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA

Wildcat Marsh Short-eared Owl, 1-26-19

Bruce Mast
 

Good evening birders,
I birded Wildcat Creek and Wildcat Marsh this afternoon after blissing out at the Keller Cove herring run. Best bird was a Short-eared Owl flying over the marsh and perching on a couple posts at about 3:30 pm. Viewed it from the junction of Wildcat Creek and Wildcat Marsh trails.

Also found a Greater White-fronted Goose with a small flock of Canada Geese. They were in the last pond before the Landfill Loop parking lot, the pond with the big solar panels surrounded by low cat-tails.

Bird on,

Bruce Mast
Oakland

Townsend's Warbler in yard today

EBB-Support
 

katehoffman45
Today at 4:42 PM
This afternoon I had a Townsend's Warbler show up briefly in my yard (near Morcom Rose Garden). This has happened only a couple times in past years. I think it was a female first year (judging by the pix in Sibley FG). And the White-throated Sparrows continue to show up at my feeders (they've been coming for 6 weeks).

Kate Hoffman
Oakland

Burrowing Owl (w/ slight squirrel kerfuffle) + Mountain Bluebird Q

M. Maloney
 

Thanks to those on the GGAS Albany Shoreline field-trip yesterday who pointed out the BURROWING OWL. I took some video after the GGAS group had migrated onward a bit, and witnessed this interesting (to me, anyway) slight "altercation" where a squirrel seemed to get a little too close to the Burrowing Owl, who *responded,* and then stalked off on its long legs, making my first BUOW sighting extra memorable...

Also, I appreciated the definitive CLARK'S GREBE sighting (given that seeing them in winter plumage can make clear ID vs Westerns somewhat challenging).  The shorebird and duck action on those mudflats was indeed *fantastic*; a highlight for me was seeing a few AVOCETS in nascent breeding plumage, as well as several NORTHERN PINTAILS.

Bonus Bluebird question:   I would be happy to buy a glass of wine, or a snack to see the MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS @ Cedar Mountain Winery (not a wine connoisseur, so not into tastings and the like), but this doesn't seem possible based on my research so far.  And saying, "hey, I'm mostly just here for your Mountain Bluebirds," doesn't seem like a great, respectful approach either.   I've looked for MOBL on that road (just outside of the Winery itself), but haven't struck "blue / gold" so far.  Biking is not an option in this instance, so it has to be by car, or on foot.   Ideas welcome; please write me off-list, and thanks for your consideration.

Best,

Michelle M.  (Oakland)

[EBB_Sightings] Leucistic Black Phoebe in Moraga

EBB-Support
 

I found a leucistic Black Phoebe on Saturday at the drainage canal sort of place near the intersection of Rheem Blvd and Fay Hill Road where Fay Hill Road intersects with Frontiers Drive.

It has a creamy gray head and an all white back and wings. It was calling and fly-catching and looking very flashy in this plumage. I hope it stays safe from predators.

Kathryn Spence

Herring Run Report and Info., Richmond

Ethan Monk
 

Today, I managed to do some birding over in West Contra Costa and some in North West Alameda. Overall the day wasn’t quite as productive as I’d hoped but the herring run was decent. The herring run brought in good numbers of birds (mainly gulls and scoters, loons were notably almost entirely absent) but a solid portion of the birds (mostly gulls) were not identifiable due to the distance of observation, even with a scope.

In earlier morning at Miller/Knox, there seemed to be a steady flow of gulls from off the bay and into the protected waters West of the breakwater. Good numbers of gulls (approaching 1000) were within 100 or so feet of shore and were easily identifiable. At about roughly 9am and continuing for the next hour as the tide fell, not only did gulls continue to move in off the bay, but gulls from Miller/Knox proceeded to move further out, accumulating around Cypress Point to the North (not accessible, as far as I can tell). At Cypress Point we could see several hundred gulls in the scope (too far to safely identify many) and easily over 1000 Scoter (mostly Surf, but these Scoters were so tightly clustered I could have missed a Black or White-winged), 200 Scaup, and 300 or so Bufflehead.

Notables: Northern Pintail, 12 flyby over bay. Rare in this part of Richmond.

1600 Surf Scoter, most clustered around Cypress Point

500+ gulls clustered around Cypress Point. If there were any rare gulls in the herring run today, this was where they were at.

223 Greater Scaup (no Lesser)

165 Western Gull only, numbers seemed surprisingly low as only several weeks ago were over 1000 Western roosting and partaking in the herring run visible from Ferry Pt. at Brooks Island

2 Thayer’s. Thayer’s numbers were unusually low today considering the large concentrations of gulls

400 Brandt’s Cormorant, more than I have seen reported on any other checklist by several hundred. Most of these birds were at Pt. Richmond and not visible from Miller/Knox by 12

0 Red-throated Loon seemed to be a notable absence for this location, especially considering the proliferation of food. Yesterday I had 16 Red-throated Loon fly over the Richmond Bridge headed South at about 7am, maybe the loons have departed the area already by late morning?

Checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S52116902

 

At low tide around 11, the gulls, cormorants and many ducks appeared to have completely vacated Miller/Knox and stacked up against the Pt. Richmond Shoreline, accessible from Cliffside Court and Western Drive. Several hundred gulls were either sitting on the shoreline or swimming in the waters just off the beach allowing for an hour or so of careful, concentrated study. After about a 1.5 hour study of the gulls, the tide began to come in and the gulls and ducks mostly returned to Cypress Point, once again making most birds too far to identify from Miller/Knox and the beach and hiding many birds from sight. We then proceeded to briefly check the neighborhoods in hopes of turning up something rare that might be overwintering, such as the Brown Thrasher that spent the winter in 2011 (and possibly until 2014). No luck.

Notables: 7 American Wigeon probably represented birds that normally reside at Miller/Knox, indicating that many of those wigeon (including the Eurasian) are likely widely dispersed across the area of the herring spawn.

250 Greater Scaup in large rafts and 1 Lesser Scaup was our only Lesser of the day—surprising considering the scaup numbers.

12 Red-breasted Merganser. A solid count of birds.

60 Western Gull seemed again to be oddly low. Most of these birds were distant and fewer than 10 joined the hundreds of gulls on the beach.

3 Thayer’s Gulls. This species seemed very unusually uncommon today

Snowy Egret flew over neighborhoods, seemed like a good sighting considering the location.

300 Brandt’s Cormorant appeared to be the same birds sighted from Miller/Knox in the morning but further out in the bay.

Checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S52117190

 

This herring run seems to be quite young and possibly with several more days of herring spawn, higher numbers of birds and rarer ducks and gulls may begin to show up in the area? Last year at Pt. San Pablo extended herring spawns brought in Long-tailed Ducks and White-winged Scoters, and a Harlequin Duck was sighted today at an apparent herring spawn in Tiburon.

Good birding,

Ethan Monk

Contra Costa

Claremont Tanager

Alan Howe
 

I just got some new binoculars, so decided to try to see the summer tanager through better lenses. (They were definitely worth it!) Sure enough, I spotted him in the same oak just down the road from the rope swings. I didn't see him @ first, so gave a few whistles that I hoped would dimly approximate the tanager's call on All About Birds. He showed up a few minutes later--not that I know whether or not my "calls" had anything to do with that.

In that 1 tree, within 10 or 15 minutes, there were acorn woodpeckers, a pair of Nuttall's woodpeckers, yellow-rumped warblers, a spotted towhee & the tanager, many of them @ the same time.

I arrived there about 3:45 or so. @ around 4:30, the tree was empty. I assume everyone was finding their evening roost.

A lovely way to spend a late Sunday afternoon--& the sunset was pretty nice, too.

Peace,

Alan Howe
North Oakland

White-winged Dove Jan28

Dave Weber
 

This morning after 1.5 hours searching in frigid gloomy conditions at Holland Tract Marina I found the White-winged Dove at 9:30 am  It was foraging in grass under the cottonwoods north of the restroom with 30 Eurasian Collared Doves. They all flew up into the trees where the WWD sat in full view for 10 minutes.



Dave Weber,
Milpitas
By phone

White-throated Sparrow, Richmond

Sheila Dickie
 

This morning, January 28, 2019, there was one White-throated Sparrow in with the White-crowned Sparrows in my Richmond back garden. Also seen yesterday and in early November. Looked like a tan morph.

Sheila Dickie
Richmond

Mtn Bluebird Patterson Pass Rd Jan 28

Dave Weber
 



Around 11:30am today there was a single male Mountain Bluebird on Patterson Pass Rd about one mile east of the summit, past an unnumbered windfarm gate. This stretch of road has been a traditional spot for Mtn BBs but this the first for me here in two years.

Dave Weber,
Milpitas
By phone

Male Western Tanager

Daniel Scali
 

An over-wintering Male Western Tanager appeared for 4 of us yesterday afternoon (2/27) in my parents’ backyard in Lafayette (photo on ebird). They refound it again a few minutes ago. If it’s chase-worthy, there are many trees in the area that can be viewed on foot from Windsor Ct. and Windsor Rd. I would start at the cul de sac at the top of Windsor Ct and explore from there. It’s been seen on the North side of Windsor Ct.

Lucky birding,
Dan Scali
SF

Help with bird at Carquinez?

Matt Tarlach
 

Sorry, some will probably find this "sighting" silly but it's been bugging me...
Driving south on I-80 over the Carquinez Saturday afternoon I saw a bird fly above the road and dip down toward the east. Of course I didn't get a great look at ~60mph but it was generally raptor-shaped, medium-dark and pretty dull in color overall.
The only thing that made it memorable was very distinctive white bars or blazes about 2/3 the way out on the back of its wings, the only marks I was able to spot in that situation.
I feel like I've seen this bird before but can't place it. My searches just point toward a Common Nighthawk. I suppose it *could* be, by shape and marks. But this was about 3 in the afternoon on a hazy day, above the freeway high above Crockett.
I'll be first to admit I'm not much of a birder and feel like I'm forgetting an obvious, more likely answer.
---
Matt Tarlach
Walnut Creek, CA

Black Scoter, Richmond & Ferry Point

Sheila Dickie
 

The two previously reported male Black Scoters were seen today, January 29, 2019, from the deck of Salute in the Richmond Marina at about 2 p.m. Looking left from the deck to the rows of moored boats the scoters were swimming with a small flock of Surf Scoters.

Later out at Ferry Point at Miller Knox Regional Shoreline Park all along the rocks there were still thousands of gulls. In with the mix one second year Heermann's Gull was spotted. Interestingly in the whole walk which included the lagoon at Miller Knox out to Ferry Point and back the only ducks seen were a few Mallard and Bufflehead.


Sheila Dickie
Richmond